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Recent Publications

“Top Ten Deadliest Diseases Worldwide”

Oct 13, 2019

In this ole’ world, if an accident doesn’t get you, one of these diseases may well. Number one – Coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is responsible for 15.5% of all deaths worldwide, with 8.8 million deaths in 2015. The good news is that mortality rates have gone down in the United States and many European countries, but the bad news is that deaths due to CAD are rising in many developing nations. Risk factors for CAD include hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, diabetes, overweight and obesity, and family history. Number Two – Stroke. Stroke was responsible for 6.2 million deaths in 2015, accounting for 11.1% of deaths worldwide. Stroke is also the leading cause of long-term disability. Diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, and obesity are the leading causes of stroke. Risk factors include high blood pressure, family history of stroke, smoking (especially when combined with oral contraceptives), African American race, and female sex. Number Three – Lower respiratory infections. Flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis are lower respiratory infections, and comprise 5.7% of deaths worldwide. Viruses are the main cause of these infections, but bacteria are implicated as well. Risk factors include the flu, poor air quality, frequent exposure to respiratory irritants, smoking, asthma, HIV, immunocompromised status, and crowded childcare settings.  Open the article to see the remaining “top ten.”

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“Good Foods For When You’re Sick”

Sep 22, 2019

Colds and flu season are headed our way. Colds and other illnesses are more prevalent during the fall and winter months because viruses thrive when temperatures range from 50° F to 30° F. With this in mind, it’s best to prepare early. The following are some of the best foods to eat when you’re sick: 1) Chicken soup; 2) Citrus fruits; 3) Popsicles; 4) Garlic; and 5) Bananas.  Please see my full article for the reasons why.

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“Smarter Ways To Lose Weight”

Sep 08, 2019

Countless weight-loss plans pushing diets, potions, and devices have been marketed to the overweight population. Still, only an estimated 1% to 3% of dieters end up losing weight and keeping it off. Do not fall for false advertising as regards pills, supplements, herbal drinks, patches, and creams. Remember, the Food and Drug Administration does not necessarily review these products for safety and effectiveness. The simple truth is that there is only one legitimate plan for weight loss: Decrease your calorie intake and increase your activity level. With weight loss, total calorie expenditure must exceed calorie consumption. At the expense of fat, many low-fat and reduced-fat foods contain high amounts of high-calorie sugar. Look at the labels to cut back on both fat and sugar. And, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says there is nothing you can wear or apply externally that will lead to weight loss. Although there are prescribed medications to help patients lose weight, over-the-counter, ineffective, unlicensed weight loss pills abound. Weight loss requires more than exercise. A common saying is, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” Please remember that exercise is usually followed by hunger. So, combine exercise with a healthy lifestyle. Slow weight loss can be sustainable but rapid weight loss will frequently “yo-yo.” A one to two pound a week loss is recommended. Pushing yourself until you collapse is unwise and so is harboring a feeling of guilt from slow loss of pounds. Do not confuse pain with progress and always exercise in a safe manner. Gyms and trainers are flooded with offers from manufacturers to pitch vitamins, shakes and exercise equipment.

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“Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Yields Great News for Alzheimer’s Patient”

Sep 01, 2019

In January of 2019, Dr. Paul Harch, Clinical Professor and Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and Dr. Edward Fogarty, Chairman of Radiology at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, report the first PET scan-documented case of improvement in brain metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease in a patient treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Great news because a new case is diagnosed every 70 seconds! The authors report the case of a 58-year-old female who had experienced five years of cognitive decline, which began accelerating rapidly. Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) suggested Alzheimer’s disease. The diagnosis was confirmed by positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging. The patient underwent a total of 40 HBOT treatments — five days a week over 66 days. Each treatment consisted of 1.15 atmosphere absolute/50 minutes total treatment time. After 21 treatments, the patient reported increased energy and level of activity, better mood and ability to perform daily living activities as well as work crossword puzzles. After 40 treatments, she reported increased memory and concentration, sleep, conversation, appetite, ability to use the computer, more good days (5/7) than bad days, resolved anxiety, and decreased disorientation and frustration. Tremor, deep knee bend, tandem gain, and motor speed were also improved.

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“Misdiagnosed Illnesses are Fairly Common”

Aug 18, 2019

The idea of a misdiagnosed disease can terrify a physician and give him nightmares concerning a malpractice lawsuit. Some diseases and conditions are more difficult to diagnose than others. While the overall rate of diagnostic error is reliably estimated at around five percent, these illnesses are much easier to miss or to misdiagnosis.  As such, it is extremely important for patients to seek a second medical opinion to confirm them.  However, the error seems remarkably common, with some estimates pegging misdiagnoses among 12 million Americans, or 1 in every 20 patients, each year.  Because it is an illness that can present common symptoms, cancer is the most misdiagnosed disease.  According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, doctors may miss or misdiagnose certain types of cancer up to 44 percent of the time.  Heart attacks often are mistaken for anxiety or indigestion and a cardiac episode can be deadly without timely treatment.  Patients should insist on a second medical opinion if they have any doubts or questions about their heart health.

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“Eye Floaters Are A Common Problem”

Aug 11, 2019

Eye floaters are dots or specks in a person’s vision that seem to float away when the person tries to look directly at them. Eye floaters are a normal part of the aging process. The American Society of Retina Specialists note that conditions such as vitreous detachment, which causes more floaters, are more common after the age of 60. Everyone can get eye floaters at some point, though most people ignore them. It seems as though everyone gets them, but they are rarely a cause for alarm. But in some rare cases they can indicate a more serious condition. Many people think eye floaters are simply dust that gets in your eyes, but this is not the case. This is because they move when your eye moves. The main symptoms of eye floaters are small areas in a person’s field of vision that seem out of place. Floaters can take different shapes. Most eye floaters are caused by age-related changes that occur as the jelly-like substance (vitreous) inside your eyes becomes more liquid. Microscopic fibers within the vitreous tend to clump and can cast tiny shadows on your retina. The shadows you see are called floaters. Floaters are tiny but can significantly affect the vision, as they are very close to the input of the eye. One characteristic of eye floaters is that they seem to dart back and forth across the field of vision. Trying to look directly at a floater will cause it to move away in the direction the person looks. When the person rests their eyes, the floaters seem to drift on their own. Eye floaters do not usually require treatment, as they themselves do not cause any harm to the sight.

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“Bananas Overall Healthful”

Aug 04, 2019

We all enjoy a good banana but what are its effects on health? Bananas may help a person reduce bloating, control their appetite, and replace processed sugars. Bananas are an excellent source of fiber. A medium banana contains 3.07 grams (g) of fiber, and the recommended daily intake for adults is 25g for those on a 2,000-calorie diet. Fortunately, studies show that there is a link between higher fiber intake and lower body weights. This nutrient may also help reduce and stabilize blood sugar levels. Fiber can help people feel full for longer, which may reduce the total number of calories that they eat. The body takes a long time to digest certain types of fiber, allowing it to regulate food intake better. Research studies looked at the effects of dietary fiber on appetite in 100 overweight but otherwise healthy adults. The results showed that an increase in dietary fiber reduced feelings of hunger, as well as how many calories the participants consumed. Fiber may also help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart and artery disease. Unripe green bananas contain resistant starch. Resistant starch is a carbohydrate that does not break down easily in the small intestine. Instead, it passes through to the large intestine, which means that it does not increase blood sugar levels. Studies suggest that resistant starch could also help improve insulin sensitivity. The benefits that it provides for gut health can help with constipation and reduce the risk of colon cancer.

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“Aspirin May Be Contraindicated”

Jul 28, 2019

For years we were assured that daily aspirin therapy was a way to help prevent cancer and heart disease and protect overall health.  But we are now being cautioned against taking daily aspirin without the recommendation of a doctor.  So, what are the so-called current facts on this confusing matter?  As of 2016, recommendations were for older Americans with a high risk of heart disease, to take low–dose aspirin every day to reduce their risk of a heart attack, prevent some cancers and cancer death, extend their lives and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients over the course of 20 years.  Yet, by 2017 the FDA had concluded that the data do not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called “primary prevention.”   Care is needed when using aspirin with other blood thinners, such as warfarin, dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and apixiban (Eliquis).  While doctors used to support daily consumption of low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attacks and stroke, three major clinical trials in early 2018 found the risks of the drug outweighed any benefits in people who did not already have heart disease.

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“Fruits and Veggies Can Be a Double-Edged Sword”

Jul 21, 2019

Investigators are now telling us that fruits and vegetables do not dramatically lower the risk of common diseases, including cancer. But, public health guidelines for food oriented toward high vegetable and fruit consumption has been around for decades and has continued up to the present. This scenario led to the rising popularity of vitamin supplements from the 1980s until today, but there have been huge problems with these trends. Research has failed to substantiate the suggestion that as many as 50% of cancers could be prevented by boosting the public’s consumption of fruit and vegetables. It’s better to eat any fruit or vegetable than a plate of chicken wings or a big bag of Fritos. However, when you do eat fruits and veggies, be aware what’s in them—some have better nutrients than others. And some fruits are loaded with sugar. Bananas are a tasty and convenient snack and they even come in their own easy-to-peel wrapper. They’re also rich in fiber and nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Bananas are low in fats and protein, and only contain about 105 calories.

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“Fried Food Dilemma”

Jul 14, 2019

In North America, 25-36% of adults consume foods, usually fried, from fast food restaurants every day. Moderation and variety with any food is the key to healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. But could eating fried foods actually shorten our lives? The connection between eating fried foods and obesity and heart disease is well known. In a 2018 study, it was shown that frequent consumption of fried foods, especially fried chicken and fried fish/shellfish, was associated with a higher risk of all cause and cardiovascular mortality in women in the US. Several cohort studies in US populations showed that higher consumption of fried foods was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, which are among the leading causes of death. However, a study in a Mediterranean population found no association between fried food consumption and coronary heart disease. A 2019 study has shown that frequent consumption of fried foods, particularly fried chicken and fried fish/shellfish, was correlated with a higher risk of all cause and cardiovascular mortality in this study population. Total or individual consumption of fried food was not generally linked to cancer mortality. Total fried food consumption of at least one serving per day was associated with a modestly higher but not significant risk of cardiovascular mortality. Frying is a complex cooking process that modifies the composition of foods and the frying medium. During frying, foods can lose water and absorb fat, and the frying oils deteriorate, especially when reused.

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